Categorized: News and Events

Joint Press Release – WIHA Tools USA & Aroplax Corporation

Willi Hahn Corporation USA and Aroplax Corporation
Announce Development Partnership

Wiha Tools and Aroplax Corporation are pleased to announce
a strategic development partnership. The cooperation will focus on developing professional hand-tools for North, Central, and South American markets. The manufacturing and distribution of the product will be in Monticello, Minnesota.

The partnership expands Wiha’s global manufacturing footprint and creates additional opportunities to co- develop products utilizing Aroplax’s technical team and state of the art injection molding facility. The first products will be available at select distribution partners in December 2020.

“This partnership with Aroplax is another step toward Wiha’s objective of manufacturing
products in each of the key markets we do business. Although recognized as a high-quality
German tool manufacturer, a USA manufactured product line strengthens our overall
commitment to our best in class offering. After all, what is better than German engineering and
American manufacturing?” Asked Patrick DiPerno, Willi Hahn Corporation’s Divisional President
and Managing Director.

“Aroplax Corporation is excited to join forces with the team at Wiha Tools USA. The opportunity
to partner up and become a stakeholder with a globally recognized leader of premium hand
tools is the type of relationships we seek. Aroplax is confident in our abilities in providing
superior engineering and injection molding solutions that will benefit the Wiha Tools USA
product line.” Stated Steven Schoen, President of Aroplax Corporation.

About Wiha Tools 
Willi Hahn Corporation USA dba Wiha Tools is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wiha Werkzeuge
Gmbh Schonach, Germany. Beginning in 1985, Wiha Tools has developed into the largest
subsidiary of Wiha Worldwide. Offering over 3500 products from our Monticello, Minnesota
based North American Headquarters servicing all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. www.wihatools.com & www.wihatools.ca

 

Media Contact

Wiha Tools USA

Willi Hahn Corporation

1348 Dundas Circle

Monticello, MN 55362

Media Relations: [email protected]

1-800-494-6104

 

About Aroplax Corporation

Founded in 1943, Aroplax Corporation is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified and UL recognized manufacturer, located in Monticello, Minnesota. With over 75 years of experience, Aroplax delivers engineering and injection molding solutions to OEMs and consumer goods companies across diverse industries, including medical, agriculture, automotive, electronic, recreational, and aerospace. Aroplax specializes in custom molding and design, offering expertise in high-performance thermoplastic materials. Customers value Aroplax as a long-term, trusted business partner who consistently delivers the highest-quality and cost-effective solutions. www.aroplax.com 

 

Media Contact

Aroplax Corporation

200 Chelsea Road

Monticello, MN 55362

Media Relations: [email protected]

1-800-544-8730

Aroplax Employee Highlight – Roger Sawyer

Aroplax encourages and supports the development of our employees. Studies have shown companies who invest in training and developing their employees benefit by increased employee engagement, productivity, and overall better business results.

Recently Roger Sawyer, a key member of Aroplax’s technical team, completed his Level 1 certification through Kruse Training, Inc. The on-line training program included modules on molding fundamentals, polymer materials, part design, mold design, and processing. Like Aroplax, Roger believes that continuing education is important: “Things are always changing, and it’s important to keep your skills sharp.

One of the things Roger liked best about the Kruse program was that it was very informative, and he could go at his own pace. “There were many things to rediscover and learn, given the increased sophistication in tool design and materials.”

Roger intends to complete the other 3 levels of the Kruse certification program and become master certified. “I’d recommend the program to anyone in injection molding, as it provides you a great foundation of knowledge.”

Thomas Schoen, Aroplax Director of Operations, appreciates Roger taking the time to complete the training and apply his enhanced knowledge and skills on the job: “Training and development align with one of Aroplax’s Core Values, Continuous Improvement, which in Roger’s words ‘makes us better every day.”

Congratulations, Roger, on your certification!

Aroplax Summer Intern – Michael Garg

Aroplax is proud to partner with SciTech in providing internship experiences to MN STEM college students. Michael Garg joined the Aroplax team this summer as an engineer intern. Michael is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at St. Cloud State University and has an associate degree in machine tool technology from Alexandria Technical and Community College. 

During his internship, Michael gained hands-on experience in Aroplax’s tool room, running jobs on the CNC, mill, lathe, and grinding machines. Michael helped troubleshoot defective tools and redesign them to increase efficiencies. He also worked with Aroplax’s engineering team on continuous improvement and cost-reduction projects for production.

Some of Michael’s favorite projects were building a press cavity base plate, which holds plastic parts while inserts are pressed in, and working on robotic end of arm tooling.

Jason Pachel, Aroplax’s tool room supervisor, is grateful to have Michael as an additional contributor on the team: “Michael helped us complete more projects which led to more improvements on our production floor.”

When asked what he will take away from his intern experience at Aroplax, Michael said: “Hands-on experience is priceless. You can have all the theories in the world, but without application it’s only a thought.”

Michael is able to work part-time when he resumes his courses this fall at SCSU, so he will continue to gain experience and contribute his skills to the Aroplax team.

Further Details at SciTech | https://scitechmn.org/from-machining-to-engineering-getting-in-gear-at-aroplax/

 

Aroplax Corporation – ISO Audit 2020

For nearly 20 years, Aroplax has been ISO-certified and is currently certified to the ISO 9001:2015 standards (our register is DNV-GL).  We have recently and successfully completed our annual ISO audit, with several areas cited as noteworthy:
1. On Time Delivery, consistently being over 99%
2. Return Material Authorizations (as compared to sales) at an impressively low rate of 0.3%
3. Exceptional overall facility organization and cleanliness
At Aroplax, everyone impacts the quality of the products we manufacture at every step of the way. We are grateful for our employees. Their dedication and attention to quality ensures we meet or exceed our customers’ expectations every time. Aroplax employees celebrated the results of the ISO audit with a pizza party on July 15, 2020.

Learn More | ISO Audit

Aroplax | COVID-19 Update

Dear Valued Customers and Friends,

With the recent progression of COVID-19, we want you to know how we are managing the situation to minimize the impact on our business and ultimately our customers.

Aroplax Corporation has developed plans to continue “normal” operations and will update those plans as additional information is provided to us by the authorities. 

As part of our plan, we have focused on two main areas.

Employee & Site Initiatives:

Our employees are following CDC guidelines and precautions to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus. In addition we have increased our cleaning cycles for commonly touched surfaces areas and added more cleaning stations in our facility.   

We have restricted visitors into our facility and restricted our travel. Only critical and essential personnel will be allowed in Aroplax. Phone and video conferencing will be used when needed to communicate to our customers.

Remote capabilities have been established with many staff to give us work station flexibility.

Customer Initiatives:

We are striving to maintain our corporate goal of 100% On-Time Delivery. To do this, we would appreciate any extended lead times for orders. This would be mutually beneficial if the supply chain is interrupted for any length of time. At this time, our suppliers have not experienced any disruptions.

Stocking Programs/Fulfillment:

For customers that rely on Aroplax to carry a level of inventory to ensure expeditious shipping, we ask that you consider holding a safety stock offsite during this period. In the event of a forced government-mandated shutdown, Aroplax’s ability to stock and fulfill could be impacted.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. We will keep you informed as things evolve and if we anticipate any substantive changes to our business operations.  We appreciate your support as we work together to be safe while continuing to operate during this ever-evolving situation.  

Sincerely,

Steve Schoen

Aroplax President

Aroplax Volunteers at Party for a Purpose

Aroplax participated in the annual Party for a Purpose event in Monticello, MN on September 28, 2019. PFAP is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money to help local cancer patients. The event included a 5K run/walk, silent auction, dinner, and live music. Aroplax was proud to be a donor of items for the charity auction.  All money raised from the PFAP auction and event go directly to patients.

Lisa Schoening, an Aroplax employee, and her daughter Tessa volunteered at the event: “This is our third year of volunteering, and we are grateful for Aroplax’s support in making PFAP such a successful event for the community.”

For more information on Party for a Purpose, visit http://www.pfapmonti.com/

Aroplax Team Places 3rd in Verus Community Golf Event

Aroplax participated in a charity golf event on September 18, 2019 at Ridges at Sand Creek golf course in Jordan, MN. The event was sponsored by Verus Community, a faith-based, non-profit organization that supports men in the recovery process and seeks to assist in their transformation by providing mentoring, housing, employment, and service opportunities. Funds raised at the event are used to maintain Verus Community House, a place where men graduating from treatment can be part of a healthy community and focus on getting their lives rebuilt.

Tanner Olean, Ken Decker, David Nelson, and Steve Schoen represented Aroplax, and the team won 3rd place out of 20 teams. Steve commented, “It was a great day, and Aroplax is proud to support Verus and the amazing work they do with individuals and the community.”

For more information, visit http://www.veruscommunity.org

Aroplax President Steve Schoen Volunteers For Chain Gang

Four dads have fun on the sidelines at Maple Grove Senior High.

PUBLISHED IN MAPLE GROVE MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2019

PHOTO BY:  CHRIS EMEOTT

There is a certain energy that precedes a high school football game. The players hype each other up, the coaches perform a last-minute review of the plays, and anxious fans take their seats in the stands.

At Maple Grove Senior High, four dads that make up the football chain gang also excitedly wait for something before each game—a burger. “I always say there are three benefits to being on the chain gang,” Tim Murphy says. “You get in free, you park next to the stadium and you get a free hamburger.” “I don’t want to say it’s the highlight of the game, because it’s fun all around,” Steve Schoen says. “But we all look forward to the cheeseburger.”

Murphy and Schoen join fellow members Peter Ralles and Pat Liedl to complete the chain gang at every home football game. The four met back when they each had kids playing sports at the school. Ralles has been on the chain gang since 1996; Murphy, 2001; Liedl, 2002; and Schoen for the past eight years.

Though their children have long since graduated from the school, the men stay connected to the high school community. “The people I’ve been in this group with are a great group of dads, who love football and love the camaraderie,” Ralles says. “It’s a way to give back to the community, but I also get a lot of enjoyment out of it.” The rest of the group agrees. “We all like football. We enjoy having that Friday night at the high school,” Murphy says. “I know Peter, Pat and Steve are gonna be there, we’re gonna catch up on what we did in the week and tell a few jokes.” (The gang is also known to slip in a cold beer or pizza slice to continue the fun once the game ends.)

The chain gang men are a lively bunch, and they’ve had their set of adventures on the sidelines. “The guys will always say that I am the one who is going to say something that will provoke somebody on the other team,” Murphy says. He reported once even taking a punch while on the job—but he tries to avoid that now! The guys have even spotted the occasional celebrity. “When [former governor] Jesse Ventura was coaching Champlin Park, he had to come to Maple Grove,” Ralles says. “He told us we were doing a lovely job.”

Some of the men are neighbors, and all of them are friends. It’s part of what keeps them coming back to the home games. They don’t have plans to give up their posts along the sidelines anytime soon. “As long as we can keep doing it, we’ll do it,” Murphy says. The rest of the guys feel the same. “It’s a great way to keep current with the program and see people,” Schoen says. “Most importantly, it’s a way to work with these guys and have some laughs.” Just don’t forget the cheeseburgers.

What Does the Chain Gang Do?

If you hear the term “chain gang,” and your mind goes directly to The Pretenders’ 1982 hit, have no fear. Check out the nitty-gritty of the chain gang gig.

  • The gang arrives one to two hours before the game begins to set up pylons and get the chains ready for the umps and officials.
  • During the game, the gang moves the 10-yard chains to measure each down and mark the line of scrimmage where the play will begin.
  • The chain gang functions on the visitor’s side of the field. It’s okay if they cheer for the home team, but they should keep it low key. (Murphy learned this one the hard way.)

Aroplax Hosts FIRST Robotics Team

On March 7, 2019, Aroplax hosted the Monticello High School FIRST Robotics Team for a site tour and hands-on robotics demonstration. Approximately 15 students and the team coach attended. Aroplax is a proud sponsor of the team and wanted to help students learn how robots are used in a real-world manufacturing setting. Students were given an overview of the company and injection molding and then spent time on the manufacturing floor, specifically learning how robots are used to improve safety, efficiency, consistency, and productivity. Thomas Schoen, Aroplax Operations Director, stated: “We were thrilled to support and interact with the students. They asked great questions and were very interested in how the robots are programmed to do particular tasks. We wish the team the best of luck in their FIRST Robotics competitions!”